(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump on Wednesday revealed a promising new treatment against COVID-19, remdesivir.
Remdesivir was developed by Gilead to treat Ebola via intravenous infusion. The drug was not effective against Ebola so further trials were halted. However, a new look theorized the drug could work against SARS — which is from the same family as COVID-19.
During a briefing in the Oval Office, Dr. Fauci called the results “quite good news” because the drug reduced the amount of time patients suffered with COVID-19 symptoms from 15 to 11 days. Researchers also believe it may have possibly reduced the mortality rate — albeit by a little. It’s believed the drug may have slightly reduced the mortality rate from 11 percent to eight percent for those who took the drug vs those who took a placebo.
Overall, the trial had 1,063 patients participating in 22 countries, including America.
Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said his department sponsored the trial.
Fauci, who is “very optimistic” about the trial said “What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.”
“It’s a beginning, it means you build on it,” President Trump said Wednesday. “I love that as a building block — you know, just as a building block, I love that. But certainly it’s a positive, it’s a very positive event from that standpoint.”
William Schaffner, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, cautioned that while the results were “encouraging” that it should not be hailed as a “miracle drug” as the results came from a truncated test.
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